Cautionary tale: State-of-the-art arena doesn't guarantee heart and soul

MANICA Architecture

Cautionary tale: State-of-the-art arena doesn't guarantee heart and soul

Since 2010 there have been many new stadiums, ballparks and arenas opened by professional franchises in North America totalling costs over $15 billion. The race to be the best building in the country is usually accompanied by extremely positive media reviews.

“Most Technologically Advanced Venue in the World”
---NY Times

“The Highest-Tech Stadium in Sports is Pretty Much a Giant Tesla”

“The New Arena was Designed with (fill in city here) in Mind”
---Sports Illustrated

Teams, leagues, cities, architects, construction companies and elected officials enjoy the lists of firsts, biggests, bests, coolest in three major areas.

  1. BEST BUILDING: Design, sustainability, connectivity, building materials. 

     2. FAN EXPERIENCE: Food, fan apps, service, HD video boards, VR, pricing, public transportation.   

     3. COMMUNITY: What economic impact -- typically thousands of new jobs and millions in new tax revenue -- will the new construction have on the area? 


No matter how much steel, glass, gourmet food, technology, premium seating, VIP space, video magic, planning and logic are injected into into new sports venue, the ultimate challenge for team owners and management is to create a cathedral that captures the heart and soul of the team -- a new town square where all fans feel welcome.

Fans may fall in love with a new facility, as they did with then-Pac Bell Park, or the jury may still be out with multiple questions, as with Levi’s Stadium. It takes time for a sports venue to mature. The most important part of the new venue equation is the fan base that fill the seats with its time, money and passion. 

The Warriors’ San Francisco Arena, Chase Center, will have its groundbreaking ceremony on Jan. 17. The arena is scheduled to open at the start of the 2019-20 NBA season in Mission Bay. Construction costs are said to be in the area of $1 billion.

Plans for a new Warriors arena have been in the works since the Joe Lacob-Peter Guber ownership group took over in 2010. San Francisco was the largest major city in America without a modern multi-purpose arena. The original location, along Piers 30-32, was abandoned based on environmental concerns, increased costs, and potential construction delays caused by regulatory hurdles and lawsuits from the Mission Bay Alliance (MBA).

“We have been looking forward to this day since we first had the vision of building a privately financed state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex in San Francisco and are excited for what this will bring to the city of San Francisco and the entire Bay Area community,” Warriors president Rick Welts said. “Chase Center and the surrounding area will serve as a destination for the entire community and we will continue to work to make sure it is the best experience possible for everyone to enjoy NBA basketball, concerts, family shows, conventions and more.”

The Warriors' magic carpet ride of success is perfectly timed for marketing their new home. The 49ers could not have written a better script as they ramped up to move from Candlestick to Santa Clara, turning it around from from years of mediocrity to reach the Super Bowl under Jim Harbaugh.

Timing, team performance, branding opportunity and market competition are key drivers toward generating piles of cash with a new sports facility..

Major income streams for financing the Arena will be coming from three main sources.

  1. PREMIUM SEATING: The sale of premium seating composed of suites, courtside seats, club seats and lower bowl seats between the free throw lines. 
  2. NAMING RIGHTS: Industry estimates say that JP Morgan Chase is paying the Warriors over $200 million, exceeding what Barclays Bank paid for the Brooklyn Nets' arena. 
  3. FOUNDING PARTNERS: The Warriors will generate tens of millions of dollars from the sale of “founding partner” arena sponsorships. These relationships usually include cash, advertising opportunities, business services, philanthropic partnerships and the opportunity to introduce new technologies in the arena. The Warriors' ascent over the past few seasons has solidified a number of their major corporate partners with deals approaching $1 million or more. Those companies are American Express, Kaiser Permanente, City National Bank, Visa, Clorox and Oracle. They have already inked United Airlines and Accenture as Founding Partners for the Chase Center.


Current and future Warriors season ticket holders, suite owners and single game ticket holders are eagerly waiting to see what the pricing menu will look like for the new building.

The 49ers were extremely successful in the sale of Stadium Builder Licenses (SBLs) for Levi's Stadium based on their winning ways and future promise. If they were just now, ramping up for a new stadium, after a 2-14 season, those sales might be far different. 

Will the Warriors be the first team to sell Venue Builder Licenses (VBLs) for an arena? VBLs would give fans the right to own their seat locations and purchase season tickets over a certain number of years. 

The Warriors believe there's “strength in numbers.” Their fans can’t wait to see just how strong those ticket price numbers will be.

Hawks sign Santa Cruz Warriors center Deyonta Davis to 10-day contract


Hawks sign Santa Cruz Warriors center Deyonta Davis to 10-day contract

Deyonta Davis is headed back to The Association.

The Santa Cruz Warriors big man signed a 10-day contract with the Hawks, both teams announced on Tuesday morning.

Atlanta's general manager Travis Schlenk used to be Golden State's assistant GM.

Davis was the 31st overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. In 62 games (six starts) with the Grizzlies during the 2017-18 season, he averaged 5.8 points and 4.0 rebounds.

Last summer, he was traded to the Kings in the deal that sent Garrett Temple to Memphis. Sacramento waived Davis in September and he ended up accepting a training camp invite with Golden State -- knowing he would soon be sent to Santa Cruz.

The 22-year made 43 appearances with the Sea Dubs this year and has been tremendous over his last 11 games -- 15.8 points and 9.8 rebounds on a ridiculous 66 percent from the field.

G League players sign deals with the league itself, not a specific G League team. They can be signed at any time by any NBA franchise.

Therefore, even though Davis played for Golden State's G League affiliate in Santa Cruz, Golden State would have needed to sign Davis to a 10-day contract to call him up. And after signing Andrew Bogut, Golden State did not have an open roster spot.

[RELATEDAndrew Bogut delivers funny soundbites before Warriors season debut]

The Santa Cruz Warriors (31-16) are currently tied for second place in the Western Conference. They have clinched a spot in the playoffs, which begin next week.

All games are broadcast on NBC Sports Bay Area or NBC Sports Bay Area Plus and the My Teams App.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Mike Trout contract compared to Joe Lacob, Peter Guber buying Warriors

Mike Trout contract compared to Joe Lacob, Peter Guber buying Warriors

There's always other fish in the sea, but none quite as rich as Mike Trout.

The Angels superstar center fielder reportedly is nearing a 12-year, $430 million contract extension, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported on Tuesday. Trout's extension will amount to the largest contract in sports history and the first over $400 million. 

But this storyline becomes a whole lot crazier when there's a Warriors twist. Yes, a Warriors angle for this rich Angel.

Trout's contract extension is only $20 million less than Joe Lacob and Peter Guber paid to buy the Warriors in 2010.

When the tandem of Lacob and Guber bought the Warriors for $450 million in July of 2010, the price seemed extremely excessive. Golden State was coming off only one postseason appearance in the last 16 years, and the 2009-10 team won a total of 26 games. 

It looks like these guys knew what they were doing.

Put aside the NBA Finals for a second. Forget about Steph Curry being a two-time MVP and adding a player like Kevin Durant. The price to buy the Warriors is now a steal. 

Forbes valued the Warriors to be worth $3.5 billion just this past month. Since the purchase, the Warriors have become one of the most successful sports franchises of all time, and the team is set to open a new state-of-the-art arena in San Francisco.

[RELATED: Warriors announce Metallica, SF Symphony as inaugural Chase Center event]

Nearly nine years later, it's safe to say Lacob and Guber really were light years ahead of the league when they bought the Warriors.